~ The Spotlight Series ~

Claude Monet : The Life of an Impressionist

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Duration

90 minutes

Take-Aways

After this seminar, you'll know all there is to know about : Life of Claude Monet, Renoir and Bazille, Impressionist movement, The Haystacks, Cathedrals, and Poplars series, The Water Lilies, Giverny.

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Claude Monet, the world's first and foremost Impressionist Painter, is one of the most successful French artists of all-time. Born just after the French Revolution into an ever-changing world, he set out to reflect the nuances of modern society through splashes of colour and a daring new technique. A visionary, an artist, an impressionist... Travel with us through France as we embark on a journey to discover Monet's greatest works, at each stage of his long, artistic life.

Early Years in Normandy and Paris

During the first part of this seminar, we will focus on Monet's childhood in Normandy and early career in Paris, from his birth in 1840 to the Franco-Prussian War in 1870-1871. We'll see where he got his insiration from as a child, and how this ultimately led him to study at the great French capital, underParisian Academy painter Charles Gleyre. We'll look at Monet's earliest work and see how it blossomed into a promising new style all his own, alongside his fellow classmates Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Frédéric Bazille, and Alfred Sisley. We will explore some of the artist's most iconic works from this period (including Woman in the Green Dress, Lunch on the Grass, and Women in the Garden) and see how they seem to announce and usher in a whole new era of painting.

 

Impressionism in Paris

Next, we will take a look at the artistic development of Claude Monet's work throughout the next few decades of his life, from 1871 to 1883. We'll discuss the First Impressionist Exhibition in 1874, (which would turn out to be one of the most significant dates in the history of Western Art) and hear about Monet's painting "Impressions of a Sunrise", which ultimately gave the entire artistic movement its name. Explore Monet's work in Vétheuil and Argenteuil, two villages in the outskirts of Paris, and see how the uncertain beginnings several years earlier flourished and solidified into his own signature style. Also discover the very few city paintings ever painted by Monet during his short stays in Paris over the years.

In the late 1880's, after decades of hardship as a struggling artist, Monet's exceptional talent was recognized by the public and his fame, both locally and worldwide, exploded. To celebrate, he moved into a house in the country with his family, and would spend the next 40 years of his life painting the product of his own labour : his garden.

Giverny

Lastly, we will explore this last period of stability and freedom in the artist's life, and the spectacular work he was able to produce throughout, from 1883 to his death in 1926. We'll take a look at his house in Giverny, Normandy, portrayed through the lens of his many paintings depicting the garden, the lily pond, and the Japanese bridge. We'll also explore the all-new concept of the Painting Series, a concept invented by Monet himself and displayed in his paintings of Haystacks, Poplars, and Cathedrals. And lastly, we'll discover Monet's last work of art, The Waterlilies, painted especially for the Orangerie in Paris where it still stands today.